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tv   Politics Nation  MSNBC  December 21, 2011 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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sadly that's a resolution that would last about as long as my annual vow to lose weight. that's "hardball" for now. thank you for being with us.sha. >> welcome to "politics nation." i'm al sharpton. tonight's lead -- house republicans take notice. when you do unpopular things, you become unpopular. house republicans are now calling their payroll tax cut rejection their braveheart moment. >> there may have been one person that thought it was okay, to put the fight off until two months from now. everybody else said, look, this is a braveheart moment. you, mr. speaker, are our william wallace. >> now, i haven't watched "braveheart" in a while, but i know one thing. william wallace and the gang get slaughtered in this movie. that's already begun for house republicans.
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>> it is harming the republican party. it is harming the view, if it's possible any more of the american people about congress. >> and it's not just mccain. remember senator mitch mcconnell, the man who was high-fiving this weekend about the payroll tax cut deal? well, his silence is deafening. he's left speaker boehner and the house out on a limb, but what's worse than losing mcconnell? how about the editorial page of ruper murdoch's "wall street journal"? it's calling the house's handling of this a, quote, fiasco, saying republicans have thoroughly botched the politics on this one. you botched it all right. too bad your bad politics are also hurting 160 million americans and 3 million unemployed. joining me now is congressman emanuel cleaver, the democrat from missouri, and chairman of
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the congressional black cac us. also with me dana milbank, columnist for "the washington post." he's writing about the gop in damage control mode today. >> that's extraordinary, that hardly ever happens. that means 89% of the u.s. senate voted one way. one of the things i think we cannot allow the public to ignore is the senate majority leader mitch mcconnell voted for it. tea parties members voted for it. this is one of those times when the senate did its job, and
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frankly i like mr. boehner. sis i don't think this is him. it's unfortunate that the people in this country are now being rolled over. >> dana, explain to me if chairman cleaver is correct, how this could happen. look at this graph. 39 republicans in the senate voted in favor of it, including tea party favorites marco rubio and pat toomey. 39, including tea party favorites. in the house, 229 republicans vote against it. i mean, what's happening here? >> well, reverend, i think the congressman's take is basically correct, and, of course, what -- i was in that session earlier today with john boehner and the other conferrees, they would like to make this a dispute,
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just another bit of partisan bickering with the democrats, but this is a whole other ball of wax. their fight isn't with the democrats. it's with republicans in their own parties and conservatives. john boehner is a relatively weak speaker. you've got to understand, you mentioned the whole braveheart thing. ten people got up in this private meeting of the republican caucus the other night and started talking about their favorite moments from the "braveheart" movie. they see themselves as the skots fighting is the noble. >> so they're in the meeting talking about the movie, which by the way, the guys got slaughtered. >> exactly. >> we're talking about 160 million people, and they're talking about movies. they don't enunderstand what the end of the movie is. >> exactly. it gets larger than this particular payroll tax issue. americans are saying, wait a second, are these guys nuts or what? >> chairman cleaver, when you look at what these guys come
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back with, that they want to in fact add to 9 burden of middle-class people, things like we want to cut unemployment insurance benefits by -- drug test people, all kinds of incredible things that have nothing to do with paying for the payroll tax cut extension if that's their point. one can only believe this is pure extreme politics. >> it is extreme, and it's so extreme that i think it is causing president obama's poll numbers to rise. i think the public -- the independents for sure, are looking at this saying i don't want to have anything to do with it. these people are doing harm to millions of americans. many of them are like me, they're walking around looking at the homeless people, people who are being thrown out of their homes. they come to the conclusion that poverty is catching. you can get it from congress. and so i think that that's going
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to damage even their presidential candidates. some of them, some of the presidential candidates, if they're smart, they'll come out and begin to condemn the house with all the other responsible republicans. >> now, dana, as you talked about, there seems to be infighting among the republicans, even senator brown, heller, snowe, lugar, people who are up for reelection have come out to criticize the house. do think understand that they have set up a situation that not only in my opinion is morally reprehensible, not even good politically for their party and may cost them some seats that would be campaign close election results? >> it may cause them that, and they may be getting an earful, though technically the house is still in session, all but a few of them have gone home to celebrate the holidays, just
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like everybody else. but i think that 9 people who are really driving this, the sort of -- the conserve tif tea party element, if you will, they're more interested in making a point here than they are in the politics of it. and i think they genuine -- they say they're acting on a principle. it's not entirely clear what principle they're defending, but they clearly would rather make a point than in the position of governing. that will hurt a lot of people. >> it makes you wonder, chairman cleaver, like a minister i am, they're going home to celebrate what holiday? they certainly couldn't be celebrating the birth of christ after doing thing i feel would clearly hurt the pyre and those that are downtrodden. but let me show you this, chairman cleaver. clearly the messaging war has cost them with the gop approval rating down now 14% since april.
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handling of taxes down five points. the public is not buying whatever it is they think they're selling. i'm pleased the public has caught on, and they realize this nation has beenible to survive lo these many years, because people come to congress with different ideas and ideals, and they compromise, but we have people in the house of representatives that believe that compromise is capitulation. i do think that ideology trumps logic and everything else. so the public is beginning to see this. the more they see it, i think the greater the smile on nancy pelosi's face, because she's going to be able to see 25 seats being won in the house, and then she'll become the speaker again. >> all of us on a certainly sigh
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of is the political equation would love to see her, but not at the expense of 160 million plerns, and not at the expense of 3 million unemployed. is boehner too weak to be able to pull his caucus back from the brink of disaster? or is this over the cliff? >> you know, reverend, one way or the over they have to cave in. it's just not clear how they do that. as "wall street journal" sited, they probably need to do it quickly and quietly. >> and get over it. >> congressman cleaver, and dana milbank, thank you for joining me. happy holidays to both of you. >> you too. >> happy holidays, reverend. the fight could send political shockwaves across the country, and could mean big wins for democrats. plus willard rips newt, saying he can't take the heat? then get out of kitchen.
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wait until you see how newt responded. it's getting ugly. and why governor snyder in michigan is threatening our democracy and attacking civil rights for african-americans? you're watching "politics nation" on msnbc. [ female announcer ] that's the all-natural sugar she puts on her grapefruit. but is she eating sugar this week? maybe she wants the all natural, zero calorie stuff. but if you're wrong, you're insinuating she's fat. save yourself. it's only natural.
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the payroll tax cut fight could send shockwaves through the republican party and mean big wins for president obama and the democrats. don't take it from me. conservatiare
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we've been talking aboutth fight, but the effects will send shockwaving across the country. the "wall street journal" says it could help him win. remember, that's coming from rupert murdoch's "wall street journal." usually i don't agree with those guys. plus a new poll shows president obama's approval rating is up five points this month. 49% approve of 9 job he's doing. watch house republicans ignore democrats who have asked to bring the bill to the floor. >> the house stand adjourn until 10:00 a.m. on friday -- >> mr. speaker -- >> mr. speaker!
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>> i regret that the republicans who say they're here to work s. we were on the floor to do our work. and they walked out. >> the country's paying attention to this fight, and republicans could be in big trouble. joining me now is bill press, host of "the bill press show" on sirius/xm radio, and ryan grm, washington bureau chive for the "the huffington post." ryan, how much of an impact will this fight have on 2012? >> you know, i think that people are underestimating how much impact this will have. there are millions of people who, for a variety of reasons, are watching this extremely closely, much more closely than people think, first whoever is collecting unemployment benefits is watching this relentlessly. refreshing the news, googling
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unemployment benefits they are following the ins and outs. by now they understand all legislative my nushia. at the same time doctors, we don't talk about this much, but doctors will take a huge pay cut for medicare beneficiaries starting in january, which will mean chaos for all sorts of people. then when people notice their paychecks are smaller come january, then you'll have these hundred million-plus people paying attention. i think a lot of the republicans think at this point they can get away with it -- not the leadership, but the tea party element of it, but i don't think that will bear itself out in reality. >> bill, another thing that i think could be affected by this is the tea party and the right wing's big theme was tax cuts, covering the deficit tax cuts. now they have lost the argument because they're behind the tax
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hike on 160 million american people. >> no, absolutely, reverend, al. where you started at the top of the show is absolutely right. the biggest impact is not political. it's 160 million americans whose families are hurting right now will hurt even more come january 1. when you look at the politics, this is a disaster for the republican party. look, they have ceded their number one issue as "wall street journal" pointed out. they used to be the party we're all about tax cuts. president obama gave 95% of americans a tax cut in the stimulus. he gave 100% of americans a tax cut with this payroll tax cut the first time around this year, and now the republican party is letting the democrats be the party of tax cuts in 2012. again, they have given away their number one issue. this is a seismic shift, i believe, reverend al. if you add that to looking at osama bin laden and moammar
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gadhafi, the republicans have also let the democratic party become the party of national security. they've got nothing to run on. >> ryan, when you look at the fact that now the democrats can run on national security and tax cuts, and when we look at the fact that, if you look at this poll, the american people have more confidence in president obama than the gop to protect the middle class, 50% to 35% for the gop, a 15-point lead, i mean, they have really in many ways lost their ability to see the political damage they're self-inflicting. >> right. it almost feels like they're trying to lose this election. their hope is still it will be a referendum on the economy and that the economy, if it's still sour, people will just vote against obama and vote for the other party, no matter what their problem is with them. i think a lot of what's going on
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here is that congress, you know, the leadership in congress has driven its membership the last three or four years, you know, both democrats and republicans, by deadlines, and by fear, you know, if you don't bail out these banks, everything is going to collapse. if you don't raise the debt ceiling, the global economy will blow up. if you don't fund the government, this shutdown is going to create a double dip. and they're really, really six of the bringsmanship. there are tons of these tea party members who think that they should have just busted some of those deadlines in the past, but they never were able to do it. so this deadline is one that i think they feel like they can break without blowing up the global economy. it will hurt a lot of people, but it will hurt the unemployed, it will hurt the middle class, rather than hurting "wall street journal" and the financial system. >> bill, how do they get -- beside the fact that it's
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immoral and uneically, how do they get away with it politically? >> they don't. i see this a bit differently. what john boehner is saying to the american people, your taxes will go up january 1, $40 more out of every paycheck, that is a losing proposition. i think these are cam kazzie republicans. i think there's no leadership, that's the problem. john boehner is the most inept we have seen in our lifetime. he's letting the lowe denominators run the house of representatives. he makes a deal with obama, and redoes it, and reneges on the deal with mcmcconnell. this will be, i think, democrats retake the house in 2012, and president obama up against the elitist mitt romney sails into reelecti
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reelection. >> i think that's a great result. the problem is 160 milt onpeople suffering, and 3 million unemployed suffering in the middle. we can't afford that. thank you both for joining me tonight. >> thank you, reverend. >> ahead, boiling point -- romney and gingrich ripping each other today. we'll tell you why newt's calling for a debate in the kitchen. and president obama did his part to help out the economy today. we'll show you why he's just like us. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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folks, first lady michelle obama and the kids are vacationing in hawaii. the president is home alone back in washington. so today he got away from the payroll tax mess to boost the economy with a little christmas shopping. just like us, he likes electronics, spending $194 at best buy, picking up itunes gift card, and a just dance video game for sasha a malia. >> the girls beat me every time on these various dance games. you guys will never get a picture of me doing it, because i get graded "f" every time. >> let me try -- you know, let's see if my credit card still
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works. >> he and first dog bo also made a stop at petsmart, spending $41 on a dog bone and a chew toy. his last stop was at a local pizza place. he shared a slice with congressman moran, and took on the three pies before heading back to the white house. good thing that first lady michelle is away. she might not approve of three pizzas, but i hope he enjoyed them. a new belt. some nylons. and what girl wouldn't need new shoes? we talked about getting a diamond. but with all the thank you points i've been earning... ♪ ...i flew us to the rock i really had in mind. ♪ [ male announcer ] the citi thank you card. earn points you can use for travel on any airline, with no blackout dates.
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welcome back to "politics nation." ronald reagan called it the 11th commandment -- thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow republican. but there it goes, right out the window. the fight between newton leroy gingrich and willard mitt romney is hotter than ever. this morning willard was on this network slamming newt. >> i know the speak would like to say, look, we shouldn't have
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any negativity, but look, if you can't handle the heat in this little kitchen, the heat that will come from obama's hell's kitchen will be a heck of a lot hotter. we have to show as a party and as a candidate we can stand up to the barrage that will come from the obama world. >> whew, can't handle the heat? wow. newt is finally ready for a fight. >> he wants to take it out of kitchen. we'll bring in his ads, and he can defend them, and we'll bring "the washington post" indication that his ad is fill with lies. would he like to play in the kitchen? i don't think so. i don't think he want to do anything except hide over here and pretend that it's not his fault he's flooding the people of iowa with falsehoods. i can take the heat plenty well. it looked like the republicans will need a 12th commandment -- don't leave a bruise when you slam the competition. joining me is bob shrum,
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democratic strategist and professor at nyu, and maria teresa kumar, an msnbc contributor. thanks to both of you for being here tonight. >> glad to be here. >> bob, let me start with you. is newt finally ready to get mean? >> there's an overwhelming reality here, which is gingrich is slipping, romney has actually come up some in iowa, or at least positioned where it's conceivable he could win, and the second choice of more of the gingrich voters than anyone else is romney. so gingrich is trying to keep those voters from going to romney. and at the same time, romney is trying to get those votes. romney has the advantage that he's doing this through a super mack. his name isn't attached to it. no one wants to go on the ads saying i'm mitt romney and -- so he's trying to send the message
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that he is the one out there violating the 11th commandment, attacking gingrich. they're both fighting over the share of votes that could either win it for romney or keep gingrich in the fight. >> maria, a new poll from the university of iowa shows gingrich sinking. ron paul is on top. another poll has romney on top, paul second, gingrich third. will these negative ads stick clearly a week ago gingrich was ahead. these negative ads have had -- will they stick? >> not only do i think they stick, but i think what romney is forgets who gingrich is, and what he likes best is to play down and dirty. i would put my bets on newt when it comes toe to toe for the
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negative ads. the only one that benefits is the obama campaign. they'll go back again them. >> now, let me ask you, bottom, in the middle of all of this, you start see more and more extreme behavior. rick santorum really got a little ugly -- let me show you what he said in terms of his supporting -- supporting now income inequality. they talk about income inequality. i'm for income inequality. i think some people should make more, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risks. they should be rewarded for it. i have no problem with income inequality. it goes further. he says until his presidency -- let me show you this -- there would be -- let me let him speak for himself.
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>> would block grant the medicaid programs, food stamp programs, ssi, education training programs, housing programs. there's a long list. the problem is that in many of the communities that these children live in, marriage is an impossibility. it's a cultural impossibility. joe, you've been in those neighborhoods. there are no dads. not only -- there are no male role models of any kind, except, you know, bad ones. finches no dads, no male images of any kind except bad ones, he wouldn't paid for medicaid, food stamps, i was going to read it, but i wanted people to hear it for themselves. this kind of extreme position, this kind of offensive beat up on the poor, beat up on those that are in working-class neighborhoods, this is how they're going to run for the white house? >> yeah, listen, this guy, if he was a either sports announcer
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would be fired for those kind of prejudiced comments, but rick santorum is the little drummer boy of the far right and subtlety is not his strong suit. he thinks the way to get somewhere is by being the most extreme candidate in the race. he actually accused the president of being a socialist, saying the president believed in income equality. that's not what the president said. what the president said is the inequality is too great. it was one thing when ceos made 30 times, it's another thing when when they make 300 times as much. rick san storm is tanneding up for the tea party's version for the most laissez-faire, darwinist go it alone policy in this country. not only is this an unfair and untrue picket term, it's downright bigoted. it's not about they are saying
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they want people to work the hardest and take the risk. they didn't say that to the bankers or the insurance companies when these guys went around and got government bailouts. so, i mean, what are we talking about here? >> we're talking about -- and what he's saying is not only outrageous, but it also doesn't speak to where we are, with 1 in 2 americans living in poverty he's completely out of touch. with 100,000 iowans unemployed, he's out of touch. he's clearly talking in code and clearly being not only bigoted, but also talking about poor latinos, poor blacks and single mothers. that's unfair. >> will this energize voters in those areas, though? >> i think this kind of language speaks to individual saying i'm already struggling. how dare you say i'm not trying to work, when i'm trying to
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work, and in some places i've lost my home and you've lost my vote. those are the messages we have to bring out in the work we do. >> what are the obama people saying? what are the dnc people saying, how does it make a difference at all? >> i think it helps in terms of the general election. first of all, it will motivate. maria is absolutely right. it's going to motivate minorities to get out there. secondly it helps with the larger argument. the president has been articulated an argument, who stands up and fights for the middle class, who's on your side. when you listen to this stuff, you know that obama is out there doing the right thing. these guys are trying to do the wrong thin. when you hear mitt romfully attacking regulation, that's sending a clear message too, and the message is he's on the wrong side, he's not there for the middle class. i think this is an ideal setup for the president for the
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general election. >> maria, this kind of rhetoric, though, only for the polarizes the country and protects those that are really the ones that sunk the economy, because this whole idea like they're just beg garrs and welfare queens in poor areas is deceptive, when we spent all this money bailing out people who are just greedy, not needy, greedy. >> that's absolutely right. >> no reason to do what they did, yet that's acceptable. does this translate politically, not only to the president, but to congress and the senate in the elections next year? >> i think what santorum is talking about, and bob mentioned it, was really how they's trying to activate the extreme right, the tea party. what they were not counting on is this is not the midterm elections where very few voters participate. this is when voters will get activated and they're going to take it personal. there's not one person who doesn't know someone who's lost their job or lost their home.
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for someone to saying that someone is lazy because of the circumstances that wall street was able to benefit from is not acceptable, i believe, for the american people. >> bob? >> well, look, what's going to happen here is the republicans will run as far to the right as they possibly can to try to get this nomination. mitt romney that is twisted himself into a pretzel that's totally unrecognizable. what they have become is reaganites in name only. reagan made deals with tip o'neil, with ted kennedy, with gorbachev on the cold war. john boehner can't even make a deal with -- he's a mouthpiece for the tea party. and they have become an echo chamber for the wealthy, and it's going to hurt them in the election. >> bob shrummer maria teresa kumar, thank you for being on the show tonight. michigan governor snyder is threatening democracy as we know
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it right now. and almost five years since his passing, we will remember my father figure and mentor, the godfather of soul, who is also the godfather of giving. for a hot dog cart. my mother said, "well, maybe we ought to buy this hot dog cart and set it up someplace." so my parents went to bank of america. they met with the branch manager and they said, "look, we've got this little hot dog cart, and it's on a really good corner. let's see if we can buy the property." and the branch manager said, "all right, i will take a chance with the two of you." and we've been loyal to bank of america for the last 71 years.
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christmas is not about what you get, it's what you give. it's a season of giving, not receiving. i learned that being a surrogate son to the godfather of soul, james brown. his daughter and i will talk about it on the fifth anniversarof his death, coming up. ♪ when your chain of supply goes from here to shanghai, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ chips from here, boards from there track it all through the air, that's logistics. ♪ ♪ clearing customs like that hurry up no time flat
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that's logistics. ♪ ♪ all new technology ups brings to me, that's logistics. ♪
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a lot of republicans have attacked president obama as a socialist, but it's the republican governor who's actually threatening our democracy right now. michigan governor rick snyder signed what is san antonio as the emergency manager law back in march. it allows the state to appoint a so-called emergency manager to run any city or school district that's under federal stress. the emergency manager essentially becomes the city's dictator. that's right, one person has the power to throw out elected officials, cancel contracts. he could even dissolved the local government entirely.
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i know it sounds crazy, and it is, but four cities have already been taken. the emergency manager has complete control, and two are under review, including detroit. this is a threat to our democracy and an attack on civil rights, and it needs to be stopped. joining me now is verge venaro, the mayor of lansing. he ran against governor snyder and is a major critic, and reverend jesse jackson, founder and president of rainbow push coalition, who will be marching on others on governor snyder's town on martin luther king day next year. thank for joining me tonight. verge, how big of a threat is this law to democracy, period, in your state? >> you hit the nail on the head, al. even in russia in what i think of still soviet russia under putin, they're now attacking about allowing some elections
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again for local mayors, and we're moving in the opposite direction. too many of our cities have become the hole in the doughnut, and now we're going to punish the guy in charge. what is disturbing is that in some of these cases, the mayor is newly elected, almost immediately swept of his powers. in pontiac and flint, you have new mayors in detroit you have a relatively new mayor. if you're going to give autocratic power, why not use the existing mayor, come in and give those powers to the mayor elected by the people, instead of bringing someone in from the outside. we haven't even given democracy a chance to work. and make no mistake, as you know, al, our cities are struggling. >> reverend jackson, detroit is on the verge of a takeover. we are told, look at this screen, progressive block of chris savage crunched the
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number, and if found the majority of african-americans in michigan will be impacted. their democratic rights will have been taking from them, reverend, jackson, this isn't old mississippi, but new michigan. the governors has the authority on states' rights to display an elected mayor and city council, therefore taking away their vote. he then has the power then to dismantle labor contracts and sell off city assets at the price of his own choosing. he is a czar, no longer a democrat. while we have seen voter suppression as a scheme in 38 states, the idea goes to another extreme this is nullifying the democracy. >> now, virg, when you look at the fact that there's a movement in michigan called michigan forward, well on its way to
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repealing the emergency manager law, they need 161,305 signatures. they have more than 160,000. the goal is 250,000. can they get the signatures and turn this act around? >> i think they can, and i'm hopeful they can. however, the threat could persist, because you have a republican control of both houses of the legislature and the governor's office. they could quickly pass another bill that the disenfranchise people. the reverend raised a very good point, reverend jackson, when you talk about voter suppression, what does it say to voters when voters in major cities, when their voice is really snuffed out? i think it could have an effect on the upcoming election when your vote doesn't matter. >> they call it nullification, reverend, you just celebrated 40 years of your organization, your
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70th birthday. i started at 12 years old, you and reverend bill jones appointed me as youth director many years ago. in all your years, have you seen such a blatant attempt to undermine the voting rights act that you and dr. king and others established in the '60s with voter i.d. laws, early voting and now with michigan, where your vote means nothing? >> well, this is a tenth amendment for you, a classic example of states' rights violating basic civil rights. those who once denied the right to vote, never -- using jerry mandering at lark, but now the power of the state to displace elected officials, nullify those voters' choice of an official, cancel labor contracts, and then sell off city assets, is the most extreme, and the department of justice must act and must act now. this disease must not be allowed
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to spread. it's so undemocratic. let me show you this from the emergency manager who took over pontiac, and get your feeling on this mayor bernero. he was doing a radio show. let me show you what he said. listen. >> the fact of the matter is city manager is now gone, i am the city manager. i replaced the financial director, so i'm the finance director, the mayor and -- i don't need them. >> you are running the city, you are the mayor, you are the commission. >> he's the tyrant. i mean, what is -- how do we explain, as you said, mr. mayor, why people's vote in michigan means nothing, and you have people just flippantly, i'm the tie resident, i'm the dictator, because they are in charge. everything is nullified, and
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they interpose people appointed by this new republican governor. this is why it's so insidious and dangerous and a threat to democracy. there is no attempt to work with the council. it's not like you're appointing a liaison to work with the mayor or somebody from the have erbilry department to work with them. it is a takeover, and i'm hopeful that the initiative by the citizens will pass. i am hopeful it will pass. i'm just worried of what the legislative response will be. again i asked the west to both my friends and the audience. where are these citying headed? even if the city manager comes in, what about the quality of life? that would be the issue. how do we belled up our cities to make them better places to live. our cities have lost population and they need services. there are transportation issues, and many usualing issues, housing issues that need to be addressed. the emergency manager will not solve that. >> reverend jackson, you've been
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working with congressman conyers and others. if the recall doesn't work, what is the next step? >> it must be more dramatic, direct action. this is christmastime, classical political genocide taking away people's basic rights -- and illegal in 1965 -- we need the government to interpose its power to deny states the right to take away the right of vote. this is undermining 50 years of civil rights and human rights struggle. i would hoe in detroit we should be focused on reconstruction. a big lawsuit was won today in washington by attorney general lisa mad i gan where countrywide was fined for taking people's homes. we should be focused on home reconstruction and the fines
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should respond to the level -- we need urban reconstruction, not democratic displacement. >> we must protect the right to vote. if the recall doesn't work, we need to do what we have to do. i thank both of you for your time. happy holidays. ahead, remembers the godfather of soul, the legend himself, james brown, and why he had the holiday spirit and what it meant to give back. [ male announcer ] if you're intrigued by the hand-selected wood trim... the 38 1/2 inches of legroom...
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james brown was the godfather of soul. we lost his extraordinary man 5 years ago this christmas day. his legendary performances changed music forever and inspired generations of attists. more than a musician, he invited the christmas spirit and the spirit of giving. spent his life helping people in need. james brown wassail like a father figure to me. i worked with him and he was my mentor. we went back, way back, since i was a teenager. this is a clip from "soul train." >> we'd like to welcome him warmly. his name is al sharpton.
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how about a hand for al sharpton. >> we know in the recording industry that they give a gold record to those that achieve a million sellers, but we view your million seller payback as a black record, because it is relevant and says many of the things that young blacks have tried to say and could not musically express in our own little way. >> what i really learned from james brown was how much he gave back. i say firsthand how much he gave. not just to musicians, but to the world. >> he sung his song, and he danced his dance, but he wasn't just singing for himself. he sung for us. >> joining mess is deanna brown-thomas, president of the brown family children foundation. deanna, great to have you here with me. >> thank you.
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>> five years ago we lost your father, my father figure, but he taught us about giving. every thanksgiving and christmas, he would go to augusta, where he grew up poor, and give kids gifts and food that he never had when he was growing up. >> over 20 years ago he started that, and by the grace of god, we've been able to continue to build on that foundation that he started. we gave away over 500 turkeys this year, over 600 children were given toys at the james brown arena, and today here in harlem. >> monday is some of the video of what you and the family is continuing to do, giving away 600 gifts to kids, and this is something that mr. brown started 20 years ago. that's a video there of this past month, you did it in harlem today in the name of james brown. he wanted to be remembered as a giver, he wanted his estate left to help educate children and
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give to the needy, make sure his grandchildren went to school and his kids were taken care of. i don't know any artist that left a major portion of their estate to giving. has any of that transpired? >> no, because of unfortunately greedy trustees are delaying that to happen. right now we have a situation at the south carolina supreme court, we're waiting on a ruling. we hope that the justices there realize that we don't want to start from day 1. we want to continue, the family came together, brothers and sisters, to make a settlement so we could move forward. >> that was your wishes of your father, even in death, to make sure he kept giving. i remembered him when i was 16. he took me in. i had nothing. that was the kind of person he is. if christmas means anything, james brown understood, it was about giving. >> it really was. it was something -- he died


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